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Flint Hills Resources Corpus Christi Gets Permits To Process More Domestic Crude At Its West Refinery

Flint Hills Resources today announced it has received notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that it has received permits from both agencies for a $600 million project at its West Refinery to process more domestic crude.

“This project will allow us to process more of the crude that is in our backyard due to Eagle Ford, while reducing criteria air emissions,” said Valerie Pompa, vice president and manufacturing manager for Flint Hills Resources, LLC. “We still have more internal work to do on the project before we can begin construction, but this is a big step forward.”

The project was originally announced in August 2012, with the company submitting applications for the permits in December 2012. The project must still receive final internal board approvals.

The company and the project also received media attention in 2013 for its collaboration with the University of Texas Environmental Law Clinic, which represents Citizens for Environmental Justice, and the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP). Flint Hills Resources worked with both organizations and agreed to additional emission reduction projects, more stringent operating requirements, monitoring and reporting including:

  • lowering emission limits on several storage tanks at its West Refinery
  • setting stack exhaust temperature limits for new and modified heaters, which will ensure that the heaters operate in a way that minimizes energy use
  • establishing lower sulfur dioxide (SO2) limits on the combustion of fuel gas in heaters throughout the refinery
  • engaging a third party to perform energy efficiency audits on several key process units and heaters and identify future energy efficiency opportunities.

“We proactively sought a working partnership with the UT-Environmental Law Clinic and EIP. These measures are above and beyond regulatory requirements. The collaboration helped us make our good project even better,” Pompa said. “Not only are we using the best available control technology for this project, but we also have identified ways to reduce emissions beyond what is required by regulatory agencies.”

Flint Hills Resources has been a part of this community since 1980. It operates two Corpus Christi refineries: the West Refinery, with a capacity of about 230,000 barrels per day, and the East Refinery, with a capacity of about 70,000 barrels per day. Once new construction begins, it will require around 2,000 contractors. If the project is put in operation, full-time employees will also be added.